Chris Paul Claims Daryl Morey Lied To Him About Thunder Trade

Chris Paul, NBA
Apr 22, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) before playing against the Los Angeles Clippers in game four of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Being traded is something that Golden State Warriors point guard Chris Paul has become all too familiar with during his NBA career. He has played for six different franchises in his career and has been traded a total of six times. 

That doesn’t include the trade to the Los Angeles Lakers that got nixed by Commissioner David Stern, as the NBA owned the Hornets at the time. Essentially every time he has been moved, Paul has had some sort of say in where he would go.

When the Lakers deal fell through, he landed in Los Angeles still but playing for the Los Angeles Clippers. When the Clippers traded him, it was at his behest to the Houston Rockets, where he teamed up with James Harden.

However, it was with the Rockets that the trajectory of his career would be changed forever. After spending two seasons with the franchise, general manager Daryl Morey was fielding offers during the 2019 offseason.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Chris Paul, Daryl Morey, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

While making an appearance on Dwyane Wade’s podcast, “The Why With Dwyane Wade’, Paul revealed how the trade went down that sent him to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Paul admitted that he brought up being traded to the Rockets, but how things ensued after that did not go according to plan.

“I basically got myself traded from Houston,” Paul said. “I called Daryl [Morey] and the coach, [Dan] D’Antoni to tell them somebody could come [and] end up playing on the team with us.”

Things in the NBA occur fast, as the landscape of the league changed drastically that offseason. After helping the Toronto Raptors win an NBA Championship, Kawhi Leonard chose the Clippers in free agency.

He didn’t go along, as the Clippers acquired Paul George from the Oklahoma City Thunder in a blockbuster trade. With Shai Gilgeous-Alexander heading to Oklahoma City, the team wanted to move Russell Westbrook.

While speaking to Wade, Paul revealed that he told Morey he didn’t want to go to the Thunder. They spoke about it and came away with an understanding that a move wouldn’t be made. Soon after, the future Hall of Famer was on his way to Oklahoma City.

“I go over to the gym to go work out and Daryl call me…He said ‘I was just calling you to make sure you didn’t wanna go to OKC.’ I was like, ‘No, why I don’ moved 15 people to Houston.’ And he was like, ‘Okay I was just making sure.’ He was like ‘I would never trade you to somewhere you didn’t want to go because you chose to come to us from the Clippers,’”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Chris Paul, Daryl Morey, Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

“I chose to go to Houston from LA…I’m at the house chilling, I was on the phone with Jada [Chris’ wife] and next thing you know [the alert] said that I was getting traded [to OKC],

“And then my phone started ringing and it was Daryl calling. So I ain’t know…Daryl was like, ‘Hey man, it just moves so fast.’ I said, ‘It’s all good I just want you to tell me one thing. You said you wasn’t going to trade me, right?’ He said, ‘Yeah I said that but–’ I said, ‘That’s all I needed to know.’”

After what went down between Morey and James Harden earlier this season with the Philadelphia 76ers, Paul’s words carry a little more merit. Keeping everyone happy is an impossible task as an NBA general manager, but Morey has seemingly had icy relationships with at least two different stars during his career.

At the end of the day, the NBA is a business and Morey has to do what he thinks is right for the franchise. But, telling a player you aren’t going to trade them somewhere and then sending them to that team is certainly a tough pill to swallow.

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